Including foods rich in potassium in your diet is a essential requirement for good health. But what are these foods and how much potassium do you need per day?
Discover foods rich in potassium (the banana is the best known, but there are many others that you can include in your diet), as well as the recommended daily amount of this mineral.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is potassium and what is it for?
- 2 Effects of a lack of potassium
- 3 Are you getting enough potassium?
- 4 What to eat for potassium
What is potassium and what is it for?
Potassium is a mineral found in certain foods. Since it is found in a large number of common supermarket foods, potassium is a fairly easy nutrient to obtain.
Its presence in all cells of the body gives us an idea of its relevance to health, but let's try to be more specific:
When it comes to benefits, the biggest role is played in heart health. And is that potassium prevents high blood pressure two ways. First, it helps remove excess sodium from the body through the kidneys and urine. When this excess is not eliminated, the risk of high blood pressure and its associated problems increases. On the other hand, arteries that are too stiff can also increase blood pressure. And potassium helps them relax.
Muscles and nerves
Your muscles and nerves also need potassium to function normally. The bones also need it to stay strong, as well as the kidneys and the heart.
The energy it provides is another well-known benefit of potassium., from which athletes can take much advantage. Consequently, it is a nutrient that cannot be lacking in anyone's diet.
Foods that provide energy
Take a look at the article: Energy foods. There you will discover what to eat when you need an extra dose of energy.
Effects of a lack of potassium
Potassium levels are associated with sodium and vice versa. The increase in sodium levels causes a reduction in potassium. Instead, a reduction in sodium causes an increase.
When you suffer from a lack of potassium, different parts of the body can stop working properly. The consequences range from muscle cramps to changes in blood pressure and heart rate.
Are you getting enough potassium?
Some people don't get enough potassium through their diet. Naturally, this situation is not at all convenient, since this nutrient is essential for the body.
Potassium requirements are at least 3.5 grams daily for healthy people. That is the amount necessary for the body to carry out all its functions normally.
If you think that you are not getting enough potassium and that, therefore, you should increase your intake of this mineral, the following potassium-rich foods will help you reach that number.
What to eat for potassium
With this nutrient it happens that foods rich in potassium are also mostly vegetables. Therefore, consuming potassium accesses many other nutrients present in these food groups. They also allow you to eat a healthy diet and prevent overweight and obesity.
The best-known potassium-rich fruit is the banana. Although it provides a large dose of potassium, and therefore should be included in the diet, the banana is not the only fruit that can provide you with a dose of this important mineral.
Orange, cantaloupe, apricot, avocado, and watermelon also contain interesting amounts of potassium..
Watermelon and its benefits
Take a look at the article: Watermelon Benefits. There you will find all the health benefits of this healthy and delicious summer fruit.
Which vegetables provide the most potassium? If you want to increase your intake of this nutrient through this food group, consider spinach, a food that will also provide you with magnesium, iron, fiber and vitamin C. Cook them or sauté them with some garlic for a more flavorful touch.
Other greens and vegetables that cannot be missing in your shopping cart, and not only because of their potassium content, but also because of their nutritional richness in general, are broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, peas, tomato, pumpkin, and zucchini.
With regard to potassium intake, It is also worth highlighting the role of tubers such as potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Include in your diet beans, lima beans and lentils to ensure the recommended daily amount of potassium.
Did you know that sunflower seeds contain potassium? You can eat them as an aperitif or add them to salads, but remember to go for varieties without salt.
Another potassium-rich ready-to-go food is raisins. But watch the number of calories, since they can contain high amounts of sugar.
If you are fond of fish, you will be interested to know that tuna, wild salmon, halibut, cod and trout have amounts of this mineral.
You can also get potassium with nuts, meats, brown rice, whole grains, pasta, mushrooms, and some dairy products, including milk and yogurt.